Chapter: Reference 

Anatomy of Type

name of your book, your name University of Kansas, 2023

Add to the beginning or end of the book.
Designed by Your Name. Class project for Typographic Systems at the University of Kansas, 2023. The text was compiled from the following sources: Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, Getting it Right with Type: the Do's and Don'ts of Typography by Victoria Square, Mac is Not A Typewriter by Robin Williams. This book is not to be sold to the public and to only be used by the designer for their reference and student design portfolio.

All the content below must be in your workbook. However you can organize it in any way you want. Each section can be a chapter or you can organize the content into groups and those become chapters.


01 rules check sheet
02 glossary of typographic rules

03 special characters
04 column width and hyphenation
05 hyphens and dashes  
06 quotes and apostrophes
07 kerning

08 figures and tabular tables
09 justification/letterspacing/word spacing
10 paragraph breaks

11 anatomy of type
12 typographic color
13 font classifications
14 typography terms defined (optional)

Anatomy of Type (chapter 11)

︎︎︎How can you visually represent the parts of the letters, create your own visual reference and include the term and definition.

︎ watch video on how to cut and fill in InDesign

︎︎︎create your own Anatomy of Type Reference. (-> this)

Anatomy of Type

How do you tell one typeface from another? The differences can be subtle and difficult for the less–experienced eye to see. One important step in training the eye to notice the details that set one design apart from another is to examine the anatomy of the characters that make up our alphabet. As in any profession, type designers have a specialized vocabulary to talk about the different parts of letters. 

Arm/leg – An upper or lower (horizontal or diagonal) stroke that is attached on one end and free on the other.
Ascender – The part of a lowercase character (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) that extends above the x-height.
Bar – The horizontal stroke in characters such as A, H, R, e, and f.
Bowl – A curved stroke which creates an enclosed space within a character (the space is then called a counter).
Cap Height – The height of capital letters from the baseline to the top of caps, most accurately measured on a character with a flat bottom (E, H, I, etc.).
Counter – The partially or fully enclosed space within a character.
Descender – The part of a character (g, j, p, q, y, and sometimes J) that descends below the baseline.
Ear – The small stroke that projects from the top of the lowercase g.
Link – The stroke that connects the top and bottom part (bowl and loop) of a two–story lowercase g.
Loop – The lower portion of the lowercase g.
Serif – The projections extending off the main strokes of the characters of serif typefaces. Serifs come in two styles: bracketed and unbracketed. Brackets are the supportive curves which connect the serif to the stroke. Unbracketed serifs are attached sharply, and usually at 90 degree angles.
Shoulder – The curved stroke of the h, m, n.
Spine – The main curved stroke of the S.
Spur – A small projection off a main stroke found on many capital Gs.
Stem – A straight vertical stroke (or the main straight diagonal stroke in a letter which has no verticals).
Stress – The direction of thickening in a curved stroke.
Stroke – A straight or curved line.
Tail – The descender of a Q or short diagonal stroke of an R.
Terminal – The end of a stroke not terminated with a serif.
X-height – The height of lowercase letters, specifically the lowercase x, not including ascenders and descenders.